NEW YORK (CAP) - Not all Web 2.0 sites with a seemingly solid niche can find success in their corner of the market, and Mark Zuckerberg's latest venture is a perfect example. Bookface, his social network site for dyslexics, has ceased operation just six months after launching.
"No, the business model was not flawed," Zuckerberg told CAP News during a candid sit-down interview. "We simply ran into a situation where the technology has not caught up with me. But the idea itself is gold."
Zuckerberg pointed to technical obstacles such as the standard 104-key qwerty keyboard, which he called "extremely non-dyslexic friendly" and the lack of any "juxtapositional recognition software" that would prevent dyslexics from constantly typing com.bookface into their browser window as his main hurdles.
"I identified a need of the dyslexic people and I built a tool to meet that need," said Zuckerberg. "Six months should have been more than enough time for people to realize my vision and fill in the necessary gaps. That didn't happen."
However, not everyone is disappointed that Zuckerberg's site never obtained the same level of success as Facebook. Marshall Lewis, director of the support group America Of Dyslexics, said sometimes failure is an option.
"No one has done more to set back advances in dyslexia than Mark Zuckerberg," said Lewis. "I mean, it took us years to get people to stop talking Pig Latin to dyslexics, and now all that work's down the aindray."
As a result of Bookface shutting down, a lawsuit filed against Zuckerberg and the site by creators of another dyslexia website will not go forward. The owners of UConnect had claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea, but Zuckerberg denied the accusation and said the lawsuit had no bearing on his decision to close up shop.
Zuckerberg said he is still moving forward with plans to start a new dating site for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. ADHDate.com is scheduled to launch early next year.
- CAP News Staff